Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hot Metal!

Okay, lets talk about soldering. It is hot, it is difficult, it is magical! My wrist is healing nicely, it is starting to itch madly, and looks really ugly, but that is better than it was. Use my bad reactions to be forwarned... the iron is alot hotter than you want to feel up close.

It is also far harder than I expected. All you artists who can solder a smooth, consistent line of molten silver, I bow LOW to you. You are amazing! I am practicing and practicing, and when my tip is good and tinned, and I remember to clean it often enough, and get the tape and flux hot enough, and hold my tongue on the left side of my mouth just right, it is lovely. Regardless, it is fun and I will keep on trying and trying. Tonight as I was working late on a piece, it was really gelling, the flux melted, the solder flowed in even layers, and then I heard a pop.... the glass had cracked. DRAT!!!! Time to stop. I knew a pair of sisters who were weavers, and they wove every day in concert, tossing shuttles back and forth across a huge, wide, loom, and the first time one of them missed a catch, they quit for the day,. Early or late. Smart ladies!


papercracker said...

Your charms are lovely. Soldering is a hard thing to master and takes lots of practise. The sal ammoniac will really help. You wouldn't believe the difference that a clean tip will make - solder flows much easier. And don't forget to be generous with your flux. As Sally Jean says: "flux is your friend!"

Lauren said...

kim, thanks for writing -- i felt better reading that your soldering skills are like mine: FRUSTRATED! my tape was lifting away from the adhesive because the iron is too hot. i ordered a smaller tip and will try again after my art show this weekend. maybe less iron-to-tape contact to keep it cooler... we need to keep in touch to trade tips and secrets! btw, your work is really lovely.